Grad profile: Learning between boundaries

Rita Wang, Architecture (Architecture and Planning)

- May 30, 2023

Rita Wang. (Provided photo)
Rita Wang. (Provided photo)

This article is part of a series focusing on the grads of the Dalhousie Class of 2023. Spring Convocation runs from May 29 to June 7 in Halifax and Truro. Read all our profiles here as they are published, and for more information visit the Convocation website.

Rita Wang, BEDS, M.Arch, NSAA (Intern)

Where are you from?

Beijing, China

What brought you to Dalhousie? Why this program?

The Architecture program.

I’ve always been passionate about architecture design. It’s a program and lifelong career that requires cross-disciplinary knowledge and working and learning between boundaries. And it’s fun!

Is there any significant research you plan on pursuing?

I’m currently working on an SSHRC research run by Dr. Susan Fitzgerald, which aims to uncover qualities of infrastructural spaces that enable societal, cultural, and environmental exchange. I did quite a bit of research on surplus properties and affordable housing with community programs in Halifax for the 2023 Venice Biennale. Before that I spent a few semesters researching the landscape formation and diverse community lives in Richmond for my thesis. Early during the graduate design studio, I did agent-based parametric design and degradable material research.

These are all various directions I am interested in and would like to explore further and study. I’m not committed to a specific one, and sometimes it depends on the timing and opportunities, but I’m open to a wide range of topics.

What is a significant memory or memories from your time here?

Working day and night in the Medjuck Building is my most significant memory.

Co-op work terms, lectures from Professional Practice week, Free-Lab week, etc. Those events and experiences were fun and have really shaped who I have become.

What will you miss most about your program/school?

The studio environment/vibe, where you get design crits and inspirations, mental support, food, laughter and tears from your peers. The studio was the best. Plus, the library online resources.

What are your plans for after graduation?

Get hands-on experience and broader my understanding of things. Work on different scales of projects. Get professional registration in the next few years. Read and understand contextualization on social and physical dimensions in architecture. Shape my design decision-making ability.

I also want to get a few years of experience in the industry. But learning is a life-long thing and habit. Once I don’t see work fulfil my desire is the time I will seek for other learning paths. But now I want to take a break from school and face some real-life challenges, and deal with problems people are facing. For example, affordable housing in Canada, transition in workplaces, integrating new tools in architecture academics and practice, understanding how infrastructure and social interactions work on each other, etc. Research and design do not live without each other, and that’s also how I view the way I should be working in my future professions.

Academic Achievements

2023                Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Medal

                        Venice Biennale, Architecture, Canada AAHA Team Atlantic

2021                Canadian Architect Award of Merit - Cunard Street Live/Work/Grow

(On the Architect Team)

2020                Nova Scotia Association of Architects Ojars Biskaps Award

                        Year 4 Portfolio Prize in the BEDS program

Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies degree with Sexton distinction

                        Dalhousie University Faculty of Graduate Studies Scholarship

2017 - 2020     Dean’s List

2018                Walter Gardner Stanfield Entrance Scholarship


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